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Skylar Meade: Idaho prisoner escapes during hospital attack

Skylar Meade
Skylar Meade

A manhunt is underway for an inmate in Boise, Idaho, after he escaped from hospital during a shootout that injured three officers.

Officials say the escape happened when they were trying to transfer inmate Skylar Meade back to prison after receiving treatment.

But as they tried to transfer him in the early morning, another suspect - Nicholas Umphenour - fired at them.

Meade and the other suspect fled in a grey four-door Honda Civic, police say.

Police warned in a news release that Meade was "armed and dangerous", and described him as a 31-year-old white man who is 5 feet, 6 inches tall.

Boise Police Chief Ron Winegar noted that Meade is a member of a white supremacist prison gang - the Aryan Knights.

Two correction officers were shot by the gunman during Meade's escape. One has non-life-threatening injuries and another is in critical but stable condition.

A third prison guard was injured by gunfire when a responding police officer fired into the emergency department.

Meade has been in prison since 2016 for aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, according to police. He also has several previous convictions, including grand theft and felony possession of a controlled substance. He was scheduled to be released in 2036.

Police have issued a $2m (£1.5m) bond for Mr Umphenour's arrest on two charges of aggravated battery against law enforcement and one charge of aiding and abetting an escape.

The incident started Tuesday night, when Meade engaged in a "self-injurious behaviour", Josh Tewalt, director of the Idaho Department of Correction, told reporters.

"He was evaluated by our on-site medical and they made the determination that he need to be transported off site for emergent care," he said.

Meade was at the hospital until 2:08 local time (8:08 GMT) before the "brazen" and "coordinated attack", occurred, Mr Tewalt said.